Double Date Disaster

Amelius on April 8, 2021

Now that we've established some of Blaine's own hunters are from the Families, I figure it's time we actually get to know more about them. Between here and ReVamped, we should start to see a little more of what they can do now that the cat's out of the bag about the distinction between someone who hunts monsters and a Hunter like John Marlowe and the Ixian Families.
If you found yourself wondering why Blaine puts up with shenanigans from the cousins, it's because Mort is a “legacy kid” as Grandma calls them. Getting someone from the Families is a big deal for Blaine, as mentioned they're there to make sure Blaine doesn't screw things up, but also because some of them just don't jell with what the Family wants, either.
The Family has expectations. Obligations. They also don't pay you for super-heroism because it's a calling, a responsibility, to risk your life hunting bloodthirsty creatures.

Mort's cousin Glen has been his closest (only) friend since they were children, and of course Blaine is happy to have someone who can shoot a gun at monsters on the team even if he lacks supernatural abilities. Also, recruiting people to hunt monsters is a lot harder than you'd think, having someone willingly keeping themselves awake to the horrible things that go on in Kellwood when most people will gladly embrace the forgetfulness spell after their first encounter with a dead body torn to shreds by rat beasts is a valuable asset that Blaine can ill-afford to lose.
Mort doesn't really have a passive ability to detect magic creatures, hence why Tony was able to move about in Blaine's body without him immediately recognizing something was up other than his weird eyebrows and shifty behavior. All creatures leave an essence signature, sort of like a lingering scent, on places and people they've interacted with. It sort of clings about like an aroma. Some Hunters can detect this, others cannot. Mort certainly could tell there was something there recently, but Blaine is hunting monsters every night and has an entire menagerie in the basement of the B.O.O. so Blaine is positively aromatic with supernatural essence almost constantly. He also called them up because he'd just encountered something in his room. There's a reason the cousins had to do some research before concluding the man was indeed, possessed by something! If Mort had “read” Blaine, he would've only been able to tell that a whole bunch of monsters had interacted with him recently but not that he was being body-jacked. The system works as intended. You don't want to mistake a mortal being for a monster, and kill an innocent person while the unscathed demon mwhahaha's out of the bullet-ridden corpse to go possess someone else!

Anyway, Mort could tell by looking at Charby and Mannick that they weren't canine and human because the glamour does not affect him, but what really got his attention was something that DOES ping loudly on the essence radar– the Ixian acorn Charby was carrying with him. He might've expected to see another Hunter, and obviously it wasn't! Ixians can tell who has the essence aura of Ixia and who doesn't, and to what level they contain it. (BTW, just found out that's Ixian is a word in Dune and I'm kicking myself for not reading Dune so I could've come up with another name! Oh well.) They also can recognize another essence quite easily– that of Ixzerit.

Mortimer also knew that Charby and Mannick weren't Dragons because he's “smelled” Dragons before. A Dragon can pass for a human pretty easy with the glamour and also their ability to physically shape-shift (though some are lazy and depend on the glamour for hiding things like tails and scales in a mostly humanoid form). And it would be odd for a Dragon to come out to what is basically the backwoods to enter Kellwood when they do all their business on the East side of town. It'd be like going to your back door to your house, cutting through the back yard and around the block and then through the front window to get to the couch where you watch TV. But with the added thrill of a neighbor's dog that might attack you, because to the West, the human city is a (relative) spitting distance from Onekamari territory!